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Five of nine

No, this is not about the sister of our friend “Seven.” (Although it MIGHT be about the Borg….)

This entry is about the fact that, of the nine patches released by Microsoft today, five were critical!

The nine patches relate to 19 separate vulnerabilities (is this “going geometric” yet?) :-) in Windows, the .Net Framework, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Visual Studio, Microsoft ISA Server, Microsoft Biz Talk Server, and Remote Desktop Client for Mac.

I had to laugh (sorry) when I read an earlier article in CNET News that asked the rhetorical question, “Is Adobe the next (pre-2002) Microsoft?” with regard to security vulnerabilities.

Pre-2002, indeed! :-) Here it is, 2009….

You can read about the latest horror story in the first CNET article linked above and in the Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for August 2009. Symantec senior research manager Ben Greenbaum noted that many of the vulnerabilities this month related to “ActiveX controls” and that many of the holes could be exploited just by a user’s visit to a Web site that contains malicious code. Have ActiveX controls been a nightmare for their entire existence? I am trying to recall…. :-)

Lumension analyst, Paul Henry, notes that seven of the patches in the latest set require disruptive restarts. (Note added August 15, 2009: Ah, THERE is “Seven of Nine!” :-) )

(Note added August 12, 2009:  A judge may be limiting the SCOPE of the problem by ordering Microsoft to STOP SELLING WORD, in a patent infringement case!)

It looks as though the average “picky” “consumer” has figured it out. Eventually, IT executives (who are under additional pressure in this recession) and other corporate types may figure it out, too! (But I’m not holding my breath….)

A case in point: one of my former employers that got infected by a virus that is only transmitted by Microsoft Messenger used the occasion to ban every instant messaging product EXCEPT Microsoft Messenger.

After all, they HAD to do SOMETHING! :-)

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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